Causes of World War II

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World War II

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Causes of World War II

Causes of World War II

Joseph Wang

League of Nations

The Treaty of Versailles, which placed a huge burden on the German economy, morale, military, and country, created the resentment that rooted itself deep in the heart of the German people.Taking advantage of the situation was Adolf Hitler, uniting the country under his promises of a better future controlled by Germany. Promising not to abide by the terms of the treaty, he blamed the treaty for Germany's problems which turned many people towards his party. With the newfound support, and the lack of action by the Allies, he rebelled against the treaty and used it as a reason to retaliate and take back what was lost.

Treaty of Versailles


Invasion of Poland


The League of Nations, created after WWI, attempted to maintain world peace through diplomacy and negotiation. The League was a good idea on paper, but ultimately failed to stop another World War because it had no real authority over countries.The League's failures began with the invasion of Manchuria by Japan. The League didn't respond to this crisis, and after Italy annexed Abyssnia, Hitler could be confident that the Western world was unwilling and unprepared to go to war. The invasion of Czechoslovakia and the Munich agreement proved to Hitler that his had no consequences, and he continued on with his plans.

Lebensraum (Ger.: "Living space") was a political ideology that called for the expansion of German territory in order to support the overpopulated cities. Hitler wrote about Lebensraum in his book Mein Kampf, and the Nazi party even supported similar policies of other nations.Lebenstraum operated on the assumption that the Germans were a "master race" and had the right to displace anyone they considered subhuman. In reality, Lebensraum killed or deported the Slavic nations in order to take the land for residential and agricultural purposes. This expansion worried the Allied countries, but they did nothing to stop Hitler.

The Munich Agreement was a discussion of Germany's annexation of Czechoslovakia with the Allies, the last attempt by the Allies to prevent another war. They signed a treaty allowing Germany to reclaim some of its lost territory in Czechoslovakia. British PM Neville Chamberlain famously said "I believe it is peace for our time."Soon after the treaty was signed, Hitler invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia. Britain and France didn't declare war, but it was inevitable at this point in time. The Munich Agreement would be the last conference of the German and Allied leaders.

The invasion of Poland, 1 September 1939, is usually considered to be the beginning of WWII. The Germans and the Russians invaded Poland from both sides, and after a short month of fighting divided Poland between the two countries.This was the culmination of the political tensions of the past half-decade, and soon after this event the Allies declared war on Germany. This was arguably the first time there was any resistance to the German advance, as the Polish army put up a fight, waiting for the British and French armies to come to their aid. They had previously formed an alliance, but neither country came to their aid.


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